Music industry rocked by death of Jimmy Buffett: ‘Bubbles up, my friend’

Music greats from across the industry paid tribute to Jimmy Buffett on Saturday, following the “Margaritaville” singer’s death.

The 76-year-old passed away on Friday night “surrounded by his family, friends, music and dogs,” according to a statement posted to his official social media accounts and website. 

“It seems that so many wonderful people are leaving this world, and now Jimmy Buffett is one of them,” Paul McCartney said in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “I’ve known Jimmy for some time and found him to be one of the kindest and most generous people.” 

McCartney, who joined Buffett on a song for his upcoming album, recalled one of the new tracks Buffett had played for him called “Bubbles Up.”

“He turned a diving phrase that is used to train people underwater into a metaphor for life,” The Beatles’ lead singer wrote. “When you’re confused and don’t know where you are just follow the bubbles – they’ll take you up to the surface and straighten you out right away.”

“So long, Jim. You are a very special man and friend and it was a great privilege to get to know you and love you. Bubbles up, my friend,” he added.

The lead singer of the Beach Boys, Mike Love, also reflected on his memories of playing alongside Buffett.

“It was always a pleasure when our paths crossed and we were able to share the stage together,” Love said in a post on X. “I will hold dear our time spent together on stage, especially you singing ‘Kokomo’ with us.” 

“Your sense of humor and gracious nature was a pleasure to be a round,” he continued. “Although we’ll miss you, we’ll continue to enjoy the beautiful music that you’ve blessed upon us. No more shoes, just your toes in heaven’s sand.”

Elton John called Buffett’s passing the “saddest of news” and offered his condolences to his family in an Instagram post on Saturday. Buffett left behind his wife Jane Slagsvol and three children.

“Jimmy Buffett was a unique and treasured entertainer,” John said. “His fans adored him and he never let them down. This is the saddest of news, a lovely man gone way too soon.”

Others — including Pop Rock artist Sheryl Crow, rapper Pitbull and country music artists Toby Keith and Alan Jackson — also paid their respects.

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